In 2008, Benedict XVI promulgated a new Prayer for the Jews to be used at the Good Friday Liturgy in the Extraordinary Form. He did not commission the prayer and then promulgate it; he composed it himself and allowed this to be known. He was hoping to settle, for good, a nagging controversy.
Only seven years after this, at their November Plenary Meeting, the CBCEW passed a resolution asking Ecclesia Dei to 'review' this prayer.
They did not mention that the Prayer came from the pen of the Sovereign Pontiff himself.
They claimed that the Prayer failed to accord with the Vatican II Decree Nostra Aetate ... as if they were more reliable experts on the Conciliar texts than Joseph Ratzinger.
They claimed that "upset and confusion" had been caused among Jews.
I wonder how many of the Right Reverend Fathers round the table quite understood what was really going on when this item on the agenda came up.
They failed to mention that one eminent Jewish scholar, Rabbi Jacob Neusner, had praised the prayer and had made the point that it was in the very same spirit as a prayer used among Jews for the conversion of Gentiles ... a prayer used daily: indeed, he asserted, used three times a day.
Even more disgracefully, the CBCEW made no reference to the fact that the Novus Ordo Liturgia Horarum, at Vespers on Easter Day, and on other Sundays in Eastertide, prays explicitly for the conversion of the Jews.
We are apparently to conclude that Jews feel no "upset and confusion"at their conversion being prayed for by a lots and lots of people who use the post-Conciliar texts in English on more than one day. Yet, strangely, these same Jews are "upset and confused" by one prayer used on just one day in the year by very minute numbers of traddy people, and in a dead language.
We were not told whether Archbishop McDonald had been frank with his Jewish interlocutors about how many hundreds of Catholic priests in England, canonically obliged to the Office, pray annually in Eastertide the Novus Ordo Divine Office Prayer for the Conversion of the Jews ... or whether he simply judged that it would be easier to keep them in the dark ... unupset and unconfused. His Grace, I am sure, is a Dab Hand and a Real Dude when it comes to the matter of handling Sleeping Dogs without getting bitten.
Perhaps the CBCEW should issue a teaching document about the morality of such suggestio falsi and suppressio veri. Or are they themselves, poor poppets, a trifle "upset and confused" about this area of Moral Theology?
But the CBCEW were truthful enough to admit that they were following the lead of ... guess who ... the German hierarchy!!!
I expect they will soon follow the German Bishops in their current agitation for wyminpriests. And why aren't they campaigning for more and better 'licensed concubinage' [Fr Aidan Nichols' divertingly phrase]?
Who will serve orthodox English Catholics as Flying Bishops? The Ordinariate contains Monsignori who have years of experience of this very specialised form of Episcopal Ministry. Should they set up a Training School? It could bring in much-needed revenue.